I’m bipolar. Those two words are misunderstood by those who haven’t dealt first hand with the disorder. It’s a mentally crippling disease that effects millions. Yet, it’s easier for most to ignore it and explain it as an excuse. An excuse to act crazy, an excuse to miss work, and an excuse to avoid life’s demands. It’s not an excuse, it’s a real problem that affects real people. There isn’t a cure for the disorder, there’s just a cocktail of medication and at it’s most severe, a padded room. Bipolar disorder is a vicious adversary that I know all too well. It’s prominent in my family tree and it’s a disorder that I personally have.
I’m bipolar, I’m not ashamed to admit it. If I was, I would only feed into the misconceptions and lack of comprehension that surrounds the disease. It’s a disorder that backs you into a corner and makes you feel alone. People who suffer from it must understand that they’re not alone. While there is no exact science in tackling this affliction, there are therapeutic ways to live with it. Many creative and transcendent minds have suffered from it’s grip, yet they’ve also thrived. Finding an outlet to express yourself is often the best therapy for one with bipolar disorder. Are we different? Absolutely. Yet, we’re also capable of doing great, awe-inspiring things. Understand the disorder, don’t run from it. People can live with it, thrive with it and in many ways, overcome it.
For me, writing has helped me cope. Many of my poems and verses chronicle my life with the disorder. It’s the only way that I feel outwardly comfortable in describing what I deal with. It’s a necessary exercise for me. While not everyone has the same outlet, the key is to know that you’re not alone. The racing thoughts, the extreme highs and lows and the self destructive behavior are something I’ve had to battle my entire life. Find your outlet, don’t be afraid to talk about it. By dealing with it head-on, you’re not admitting weakness, you’re declaring your inner-strength.
I penned the poem “Daily Demons” during one of my lows. While it may seem ominous, just writing it and getting my feelings out helped me through a tough time. I re-read it sometimes to draw strength. It reminds me that every day I’m still a work in progress. It reminds me that I was suicidal when I wrote it. Hence it reminds me that I have so much to live for. It reminds me that I can overcome anything.
I’d rather hide in my shell,
Because I know that they can tell.
Between the cold sweats,
And racing thoughts, my own personal hell.
I don’t say much,
I just lie and say that I’m doing well.
Even with the abrasions,
It’s hard to admit that I fell.
It’s useless to reveal,
What’s really going on inside my head.
So I keep it bottled up,
Take my pain to my death bed.
My hurt is substantial,
My demons are well-fed.
So instead, I decide,
To leave these truths unsaid.
If I told them,
They wouldn’t be able to understand.
They’d just call me crazy,
Behind my back, say that I’ve lost command.
On the brink of destruction,
My own blood on my hands.
All my best laid plans,
Suffocating in the hourglass sands.
Gasping for air, to no avail,
Such an unfortunate tale.
My skin pale,
As this disease tips the scale.
Bipolar with a side of rage,
Trying to remove these coffin nails.
It feels like one foot’s in the grave,
On this ominous trail.
Doctors shower me with pills,
To try to keep my mind still.
The pieces of my soul that it kills…
Can never be regenerated,
So it further weakens my will,
And only turns down my thermostat,
Increasing my chill.
Cold stares, cold nights,
Long days, I keep trying to fight.
Yet, it’s hard to determine what’s wrong,
When I can’t tell what’s right.
I wouldn’t wish this on an enemy,
My lifelong plight.
I hear the monster’s voice,
His face, always within sight.
I try to look away,
Then he’s just breathing down my back.
From his nostrils come the flames,
And his stare is pitch black.
The hallways of my mind,
Littered with debris from past attacks.
I might avoid the cataclysm for a day,
But he stays hot on my tracks.
He brings his friends,
Toying with me as my mind bends.
So now perhaps you understand,
Why it’s just easier to pretend.
Each day, I’m fighting a battle,
That mere mortals can’t comprehend.
It’s hard for me to begin to describe,
When I just want all of this to end.